March 2023 – Energy Scouts increase recycling rate and reduce waste at Slovnaft in Slovakia

The Slovakian Slovnaft a.s. is a member of the Hungarian MOL Group, an integrated oil, gas, petrochemical and retail company operating in more than 30 countries. Slovnaft is principally engaged in petroleum refining and the wholesale and retail sale of fuel with roughly 4,500 employees. A modern refinery in Bratislava processes more than 6 million tons of petroleum per year which is distributed to a network of 210 gas stations in Slovakia. A significant part of the production consists of plastics – polyethylene and polypropylene. 80% of production is exported, mainly to EU member countries.

The three Energy Scouts Lenka Vrabcová, Kinga Menyhartová and Dáša Havránek Magátová decided to focus on the waste stream from their office buildings. The goal of their practical project is first, to increase the amount of sorted and therefore recyclable waste and second to decrease the total amount of produced municipal waste of the office buildings.

There are economic and environmental reasons to implement this project. First, each 10% of municipal waste reduction will cause savings of roughly 22,800 € per year. On top of that, there are no fees for sorted waste, so raising the recycling rate not only saves money, but provides valuable resources. Second, there is a positive environmental impact. The Energy Scouts calculated a possible decrease of 13,9 tons CO2-equivalent per year, when the part of biological waste stream is composted instead of the typical waste incineration (with energy production). Finally, they believe the sensitized employees will bring these environmentally friendly behaviours to their homes too.

The goal is achieved by several internal communication measures, mainly focusing on education and sharing information with employees. They planned workshops, e-learning activities and reaching out to the employees by a variety of communication channels over time, also sharing the results of a monitoring approach. The other pilar is to make the sorting as easy as possible, to avoid mistakes and “pollution” of different types of waste. After the entire project implementation there will be different colour trash bins for each type of waste with clear instructions and signs, what should be where.

The three (and a half) Energy Scouts convinced the jury and won the first place in the Slovakian competition.



Process optimization

  • Industry sector: chemical industry
  • Energy source: waste management
  • Energy savings potential: reduction of each 10% of waste represents app. 3.7 t of waste/year
  • CO2 savings potential: 13.9 t CO2e/year
  • Potential cost reduction: reduction of each 10% of waste represents possible savings 22,800 €/year
  • Investment costs: 2,000 €
  • Payback period: 1.1 months
Two women looking at a laptop
Energy Scouts discussing communication ideas to raise awareness for sorting the waste (© Slovnaft)
A filled trash bag
Starting point: Nearly a full bag per day and floor of the office building (©Slovnaft )
Two women looking into large trash containers, one of them is wearing a yello "Energy Scout" vest
Does this waste belong there? Checking the content of waste containers helps to develop further steps. (© Slovnaft)
An opened trash container with trash inside
5 of 200 containers received yellow labels and are being monitored for the “miss rate” - the amount of false waste. (© Slovnaft)
Five women standing next to each other, the three women in the middle holding folders, a "Young Energy Europe" roll-up in the background
The Energy Scout team of Slovnaft was awarded with the first place by German Ambassador Barbara Wolf and Renáta Valeková during the Award ceremony (©BARBORA CHOLKOVÁ / AHK Slowakei)